Just after promoting peace in Israel, Shakira spoke at a press conference on Monday, August 1, at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables. Accompanied by her boyfriend, Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique, the 34-year-old singer unveiled a new partnership between her charity, the Barefoot Foundation (Fundación Pies Descalzos), and the FC Barcelona team – the team for which Pique plays – to create a center for poor children in Miami.
The Colombian superstar and Pique were greeted at the BankUnited Center by hundreds of reporters, many of whom were reportedly there to hound the couple about their relationship, and not the matter at hand. The two announced, however, that they would not be taking questions.
Rather, the high-profile couple, along with FC Barcelona’s Carles Puyol and Sergio Busquets to back them up, revealed their plan for the center, which is expected to benefit over 28,000 underprivileged Hispanic children and teenagers in Miami. The plan is to convert one of Miami’s YMCAs into a sports facility where soccer will be used to positively influence and educate the youths.
Shakira said during the conference, “For 13 years I’ve seen that education is the most efficient tool for changing a child’s future and that of his or her family as well. In the United States we are more than 54 million Latinos. We’re the fastest-growing minority and we need the right tools to develop the intelligence of our Latino kids.”
“That can be done through education and if it is with soccer so much the better,” the singer quipped. “Hispanics in the United States have everything to gain. We have the talent, we have the will. I truly think that with more education and more sports, we can achieve the unthinkable. We can have the ball on our side of the court and play the best of moves.”
After the conference, the players there from FC Barcelona and Shakira greeted fans outside the BankUnited Center, signed autographs, and took photos with children there from the YMCA.
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